Microtransit Gains Momentum With Public Transportation Agencies

On-demand van services are competing with ride-hailing and filling some crucial gaps in public transit networks.

1 minute read

November 17, 2022, 9:00 AM PST

By Josh Stephens @jrstephens310

Blue FLEX bus with "Request & Go" text on side, woman rider boarding

Capital District Transportation Authority / Flex on-demand transit vehicle in Albany, New York

“In addition to Metro Micro, which started in late 2020, microtransit services include MARTA’s Reach in the Atlanta region, Albany’s FLEX service in New York, and Via Jersey City in New Jersey, among many others. Some have even arisen in low-density rural areas and on at least one Native American reservation, the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, that otherwise have no public transportation options.”

“The New York City-based transportation company Via, which contracts with many agencies to provide microtransit services (including rolling stock and/or app and deployment technologies), estimates that it now serves more than 200 markets globally, with more on the way.”

“Ever since the advent of app-based ride hailing, companies like Uber and Lyft have been accused of eating into public transit’s market share. Whether microtransit will lure meaningful numbers of discretionary riders back, even at fares as low as $1, remains to be seen. But that’s not necessarily the goal, nor is it the driving force behind microtransit’s proliferation.”

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